Background. Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) is a common hereditary disorder of iron metabolism causing iron overload, organ failure, and malignancy. Preclinical diagnosis using HFE gene analysis followed by prophylactic phlebotomy can completely prevent the disease. Methods. We conducted a mail survey of all registered primary care physicians, gastroenterologists, and hematologists in Arkansas (n = 860) to determine utilization of HFE mutation analysis in clinical medicine a year after the new molecular test first became available. Results. Of 346 responding physicians (40%), 71 (21%) were aware of the test, 36 (10%) knew that the test was available in Arkansas, and 10 (3%) had used the test. One physician had used the test to screen first-degree relatives of a homozygous HH proband. Conclusions. Because of poor utilization of the test, the discovery of the role of HFE mutations in HH has had minimal impact on clinical care in Arkansas.
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